Posts Tagged ‘personal finance’
I know a lot of you have been waiting patiently for this long-expected post! Here it is.
Travel on a budget
Travel on a budget often involves housesitting, a mainstay of RTW travellers. We won’t be staying in one place for very long, though, and we’d need to crack the market first – getting that first gig without experience is probably the toughest part.
Instead, we’ll be backpacking, hostelling, and looking for apartment/room rentals. In lots of cases, private rentals seem to be cheaper than hostels in big cities. There are sites like AirBNB and Roomorama, which have large databases but also high prices and hefty fees. There’s also plenty of others, like Wimdu, 9flats and Housetrip, which I prefer due to the no/low fees. These range from shared apartments to full private apartments, but at the very least you’ll generally at least get a futon to yourself. Some rentals may charge huge deposits/bonds/cleaning fees, or extra fees for extra guests. I would just browse listings on all the sites and see what catches your eye on a case by case basis. Most of them are easy to use – you can search by date, area, sort results in list format or view on a map, and some display reviews on the page and even an availability calendar.
Then of course there’s Couchsurfing, though I’m aware that as a pair we may find it difficult. New Zealand is a land of houses, but I know tiny apartments are the norm in lots of cities around the world. In scouting out potential hosts overseas, it became obvious that many, many hosts can only accommodate one guest. That said, we’re also open to staying further out in the suburbs – that’s just an opportunity for another experience entirely. (You can read about my experiences as a Couchsurfing host here.)
Finally, there’s volunteering. Hosts shelter and sometimes feed you in accommodation for your labour, which could range from helping out on a farm to cleaning or even more creative pursuits like graphic design or photography. Look on sites like HelpX, Workaway, WWOOF, GlobalHelpSwap and Staydu. To sign up as a member, you’ll usually be charged a fee that gives you access for a year, and freedom to contact as many hosts as you want.
Budgeting for a RTW trip
I read a lot of RTW blogs and have looked at a lot of travel budgets (Legal Nomads has a large list of links to various bloggers’ travel budgets here).
I’ve also combed through Budget Your Trip, a super handy website that aggregates costs from real travellers. Obviously, any crowdsourced data is only as good as those who partake, so costs are likely to be more accurate in cities that are well trafficked. On Budget Your Trip, you can see budget, mid range and luxury budgets based on real data, in local or other currencies.
Costs are going to vary a lot by region. Asia will be the cheapest and Europe probably the most expensive. I’m hoping we can average out to $100 a day over the whole trip, though I’m also accepting of the fact we’re very probably going to blow through that at times.
Funding a RTW trip
There are two parts to this equation.
Savings is pretty self-explanatory. You’re all grownups; you know how to save money (at least in theory, even if you’re not quite as good at it as you might like to think). Savings = income – expenses. To break that further down, you can cut costs, increase income (which I tend to be better at), or both, in order to maximise that gap.
Expenses so far have been about $10k. Thankfully, we got a killer discount on our backpacks and some other gear (nearly 50%) this month due to T’s staff discount at Fishing Camping Outdoors. There are probably more I haven’t included below (eg travel adapters and other bits and bobs).
At this stage, there should be enough in the kitty to cover a $100/day budget, once I get my leave paid out, given that we’re spending a month volunteering. Odds are we’ll spend more than that in some places, so…
Income is the other half. I’m aiming to keep some money flowing in while we’re on the road, which hopefully will have the added bonus of keeping my skills sharp. How?
Where print ads typically cost more than a month of my salary, online advertising is absolutely buggered. For all that digital offers (interactivity! measurement! mobile! targeting!) I don’t know if it will ever catch up. Ideally, ads would flow in and help fund this blog, with me only needing to worry about editorial and keeping you guys interested. Unfortunately, traditional advertising just isn’t working anymore. Advertisiers want more integrated and sophisticated solutions. THEY WANT EDITORIAL. That means rather than being relegated to banners and sidebars, they want in content links, for example. Sometimes this is more lucrative than a plain ad but it’s a lot more work for us. At a company, you can generally leave that to the ad sales guys; as a blogger you have to be much more involved.
Er, my point? Online advertising is tough. That said, where possible, I will continue to try to monetise the blog – without selling out, that is.
I never wanted to make blogging a business. I have no desire to get to the point of bringing on staff writers – this is and always will be my personal blog – paid speaking gigs (shudder – I can’t think of anything worse than public speaking), or coaching (again, no desire to be a life coach). But I am grateful for the opportunities that it has brought. Which leads me to…
Yes, there really are jobs where you can travel the world and work from anywhere – the kinds of jobs where you can earn an income as long as you have a computer and internet connection. Technically, I can work remotely, but the reality of my particular workflow and daily local deadlines means keeping up my workload while constantly on the move would be, er, challenging. And I’m more than happy to take a bit of a break.
So I suppose I’ll be joining the hordes of digital nomads out there … to an extent. The plan is to do *some* work while on the road. Exactly how much I am not sure, but less than full time.
Want a piece of me? I’m available for select content-centric work, so if you’re in need of a
kick-ass freelance blogger, freelance ghostwriter, or freelance editor, drop me a line.
One last note
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention a couple of things that make this possible:
- No commitments. That means no mortgage, no kids – living in a crappy house with hand-me-down furniture (not that I care about that, but I’m MAKING A POINT here!)
- No/minimal debt. That means no student loan, no car loan, etc.
I’m a big believer in keeping your fixed costs low and committing to as little as possible. That’s allowed us the flexibility to do this relatively painlessly. Figure out the puzzle pieces and set yourself up for success.
Whatever your goal – travel, buying a house, having kids, moving to another country – it’s doable if you truly want it and commit to making it happen.
Tags: money, personal finance, travel
It’s easy to get disheartened about your finances when you’re an avid reader of personal finance blogs. Like some people might read fashion magazines and quietly compare themselves to the models they see on the pages, I read money blogs and compare myself to people who are either way behind me – the debt bloggers – or, in most cases, way ahead.
But you know what always cheers me up? A chat with my bank.
I remember paying a visit to my local branch years ago toward the end of high school. I probably only had about $4k in my accounts (I never cracked $10k until after graduating university), yet the teller was apparently amazed that I’d saved that much, and asked me what I was saving for.
“Ummm, uni?” I offered, stumped.
You work at a bank, for goodness sake. Is saving for the sake of saving really such a foreign concept?
This month I applied for a second credit card, thinking it would be good to have a backup while we travel that can be carried separately just in case I get mugged or my wallet gets lost. The online process took just a couple of minutes, and was followed up by a call the next day with a few more questions - so you don’t have a student loan? car loan? hire purchase? store cards anywhere? – along with acknowledgement of my strong savings history. Way to boost the ego. (I’ve been with my bank for over a decade, so they’re all up in the intimate details of my financial history – which is pretty vanilla.)
The bank rep also tried to upsell me to a Gold or Platinum Visa. Now that’s something I never thought I’d hear in my life. Say what?
If I booked my flights with one of these premium cards, I’d get free travel insurance. Righty-o. Pity I’ve already booked both – and don’t really want to pay hefty annual fees for the privilege of a shinier credit card.
This got me thinking, though. Putting aside the fact that I just don’t see myself as the kind of person to own a gold or platinum credit card, would it ever make sense from a financial standpoint?
Well, at $80 to $130 a year in annual fees, I think not. In comparison, my humble standard Visa only costs $24 (bank credit cards without annual fees don’t really exist here). According to interest.co.nz, I have one of the best credit cards in regard to annual fees. Given my lifestyle and spending habits, the credit card perks of free travel insurance and the ability to earn reward points marginally faster don’t really appeal.
My needs in a credit card are simple, really: enable me to buy stuff online (whether it’s quality baseball equipment or contact lenses), rent vehicles, provide an imprint at the odd hotel, and be widely accepted, so I can use it to pay for as many things as possible in order to rack up points. As well as the $24 a year I pay for the privilege of my bank credit card, I also pay $20 to partake in the rewards programme, which earns me more than enough to cover all the fees, as well as pay for a few trips to the movies or a few meals out.
What, if any, perks do you get through your credit cards? And what do they cost you?
Tags: banking, money, personal finance
Ever known anyone who, upon getting a new job, freaked out after finding out the company works on a monthly pay cycle?
I get that budgeting is a deeply personal thing and managing your finances when money is coming in on a relatively infrequent basis can be tough. It seems that as a rule, most of us would prefer to be paid more frequently (in smaller amounts, obviously) whenever possible.
At a previous job, one colleague learned that most of us were getting paid on a fortnightly basis, and after finding out, tried to negotiate with HR to get on the same cycle. Given that this was months and months after said colleague had joined the company, the answer was unsurprisingly no (if you’ve coped that long, you can keep coping!). I’m not sure how this works as a general rule – most companies, especially smaller ones, operate on one single pay frequency, but this particular organisation had a lot of unionised employees and as a result, pay cycles for different staff ranged from weekly to fortnightly to monthly.
I’ve been paid on pretty much every kind of cycle there is over the years (including monthly in arrears for mystery shopping assignments – always fun) and I’m pretty confident I could cope with any pay frequency today.
Here’s a little rundown of my pay vs rent (my biggest expense) history
- Weekly pay / weekly rent
- Fortnightly pay / weekly rent
- Fortnightly pay / fortnightly rent (on opposite weeks!)
- Monthly pay / fortnightly rent
- Monthly pay/ weekly rent
Every new adjustment took a little bit of work. But eventually, I got used to it and made it work, largely because I like to operate on a weekly cycle. Even when rent wasn’t weekly, groceries, petrol, etc still were. Every pay day I transfer my money into my savings account, then transfer out money in weekly increments to cover that week’s outgoings. (And because rent is pretty much never paid monthly by anyone in New Zealand, I don’t get these ‘bonus’ paycheques in the two five-week months of the year that you Americans always go on about. Sadface.)
If I had the choice, I honestly don’t know what my preference would be today. Ideally, I guess it would be one that matched up with my rent payments – aligning your income with your biggest expense is always handy.
How often do you get paid?
Tags: money, personal finance, work
Why hello there!
It’s fitting that I’m hosting the carnival of personal finance today, given we’ve just come off a week of thinking and talking about nothing else except money (Women’s Money Week, holler!)
Before we get stuck in, I’m going to have a little rant.
There’s a finance company that’s just started advertising here on TV. Every ad follows the same scenario: person calls up company in a tizzy because s/he has just blown tons of $$$ on gifts for a spouse / desperately needs to install a swimming pool / some other inane and irresponsible excuse for needing cash. Company rep on the other end delivers the good news: person is approved for finance and cash is coming right their way. Huzzah!
Madness. That’s all I have to say about that.
While we’re on the subject, I got pitched a a business-related infographic last month at work, one that wasn’t amazing, but was mildly interesting. I checked out the source, and did a double take when I saw it had come from one of a new crop of local payday loan sites. Cue instant dismissal and deletion.
I get it. It’s a hard sell to market these kinds of loans, and content creation is where it’s at these days. But credibility matters, and some things you just can’t overcome. (I can add payday loan providers/other financial predators to the list of places I would never consider working, not just because it would be so freaking hard, but from a moral POV.) Many people are just not going to even consider endorsing you in any way whatsoever. For bloggers who do, though, there must be plenty of money in it. I personally find it amusing to see how those kinds of sponsored posts have evolved – they’ve moved into more sophisticated placements, woven almost naturally into posts about other topics, and in one case I saw, even snarking on them editorially.
Meanwhile, the PF madness/excitement continues elsewhere, with the US sequester, the continuing fallout from some blogging plagiarism, and a Twitter stoush or two this week.
This is a carnival all about money talk, after all so MD from Start Freelancing Now’s Freaking Crucial Tools That Every Freelancer Needs to Make Money & Stay Focused gets my first nod.
Investor Junkie from Investor Junkie asks Will You Still Need an Emergency Fund When You Retire? Can’t say I’ve ever thought about it, but the obvious answer seems to be ‘yes’ – being retired doesn’t exclude you from potential emergencies…
Jon from Novel Investor lists the Best Investment Books Every Investor Must Read. Go forth, expand your mind.
Revanche from A Gai Shan Life reckons Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and that it’s about making the best of our individual situations. We can only play the hand of cards we’ve each been dealt in life.
Ray from Squirrelers says Check for Money Leaks, as money leaks can drain us before we know it. Don’t I know it! Plug ‘em up good.
Mrs PoP from Planting Our Pennies asks What’s An Appropriate Level of Stockpiling? Indeed, it’s a fine line between hoarding and stockpiling. We don’t have the room to stockpile, but my hoarding tendencies mean I have a lot of useless crap lying around that’s accumulated over the years.
Madness: the cost of the average wedding. Don’t want to spend a couple of months’ salary on a wedding venue? Me neither. Here’s Lance from Money Life and More on Finding a Frugal Venue for Wedding Ceremonies and Receptions
Madness: those who don’t get that pets, like kids, are a responsibility. Wish more people would take heed of this. TTMK from Tie the Money Knot presents Don’t Buy a Pet if You Can’t Afford One
Madness: sacrificing health for money. Does being on a budget mean eating crap? Didn’t think so. Amy from Money Mishaps suggests Economical Foods You Can Eat to Stay Healthy While on a Budget
Madness: the cost of sporting activities. Kiddie extracurriculars don’t come cheap. Jason Price from Family Living Finance presents How Can You Afford the High Cost of Youth Sports?
Madness: the cost of house renos. Considering buying a new house vs renovating? Sean from One Smart Dollar weighs up Affording a Major Home Makeover
Madness: compulsive clothes shopping. What’s up with that? Nicole from Nicole and Maggie: Grumpy Rumblings doesn’t get regular clothes shopping
Madness: blind hatred of credit cards. It’s all about how you use them. Jules Wilson from Faithful With a Few confesses I Hate To Say This, But I Was Saved By A CREDIT CARD
Madness: the importance of three measly digits. Everything you ever wanted to know about that all important number. Gary from Gajizmo.com presents What Is Considered A Good Credit Score?
Madness: the wealth equality gap. I’ve never earned the minimum wage (my first job paid nearly $1 over) but plenty of people have to get by on it. Michael from Financial Ramblings presents Who Works for Minimum Wage?
Madness: taxes, fees and all the other costs travel providers like to slap you with. Hidden fees can be a real budget buster. Kristen from My Dollar Plan outlines 11 Hidden Hotel Fees and How to Avoid Them,
Madness: growing up without any concept of the value of money. Start ‘em young! Bryan from BryanMaltier.com explains How To Teach Kids About Money
Madness: ruining bread. It’s summer here, so unfortunately this just doesn’t work for me right now: Money Beagle from Money Beagle says Get That Bread Out Of Your Refrigerator
Madness: mortgage rates. I DREAM of a 30 year fixed mortgage option. You guys don’t know how lucky you are. PK from Don’t Quit Your Day Job… on The Curious Case of The 30-Year Mortgage Rate
Madness: excessive procrastination. The key to getting started is … getting started. Michal from Dough Roller presents How to Start Your Real Estate Investing Journey: A 5 Step Plan
Madness: there’s an app for everything. The internet is a wonderful thing, no? Peter from Bible Money Matters suggests the Top Online Personal Finance Management Software to Get Your Budget Back on Track
Madness: it’s a dog-eat-dog world out there. How do you turn a struggling business into a cash cow? Bob from Dwindling Debt presents Turning Distressed Credit Into Financial Gain
Madness: you need money to make money. Buffett: killing it in the market since … how old is he, anyway? Dividend Growth Investor from Dividend Growth Investor presents Warren Buffett on Dividends: Ideas from his 2013 Letter to Shareholders
Madness: financial jargon. Eric from Narrow Bridge Finance explains What is a Stock Split?
Madness: we’re drowning in data. Financial information – it’s everywhere you look. But what does it all mean? D4L from Dividend Growth Stocks lists 6 High-Dividend, Low P/E Value Stocks
Madness: the stock market. Are we finally on the road to recovery? Darwin from Darwin’s Money on Why Stocks Are Breaking Records and it’s Not a Bubble
Madness: betting on beating the market every single time. Nonetheless, let’s all gaze into our crystal balls, preferably channelling Nate Silver rather than Sybil Trelawney. Div Guy from The Dividend Guy Blog reveals The Sector that Will Beat the Market in 2013
Madness: getting too complacent. Are your yields safe right now? Do you even have any? Pete from Intelligent Speculator presents What Makes A Dividend Yield Safe?
Madness: more jingoistic jargon. Almost read this as Aristocats, which would have been way cooler. Glen Craig from Free From Broke presents What Are Dividend Aristocrats and What You Need to Know About Them
Madness: how far a giant can fall. My first ever cellphone was a Nokia. Ah, nostalgia. But is the Finnish company on the way back? Sean Smarty from Grow Money presents 5 Reasons to Invest in Nokia
Madness: the dearth of worthwhile opportunities on the internet. That said, there are more ways to make a buck beyond answering poxy online surveys. Shaun from Money Cactus shares 6 Ways to Earn Money Online Starting Right Now
Madness: but if the government was to shut down … Pat S outlines How Military Members Can Survive a Government Shutdown
Madness: the amount of unpaid work we do every day. Is there money to be made in catering? Mike from The Financial Blogger ponders How You Can Make Money From What You Do Every day For Free
Madness: the majority of new ventures that fail. Don’t rush in blindly. Sam from The New Business Blog suggests Tips to Improve Your Odds of Small Business Success
Madness: taking one step back for every two forward. Trying to get ahead, but feel like you’re always falling behind? Matt Bell from Sound Mind Investing presents Swimming Upstream in Our Consumer Culture,
Madness: education inflation. Are student loans the next subprime mortgages? John from Card Hub Blog presents Ask the Experts: How to Fix the Private Student Loan Market
Madness: ignoring the humble emergency fund. Where do you keep yours? My Journey to Financial Independence presents All About the Emergency Fund
Madness: missing important dates, be it your anniversary or your next medical appointment. Know your deadlines! Philip from PT Money presents Last Day to File Taxes in 2013
Madness: taxes, the pillar of capitalism. Tax cuts produce economic success. Right? Well, maybe not. Michael from Financial Ramblings presents The Economic Impact of Income Taxes
Madness: thinking ignorance is bliss. Finally, we can’t forget about the kidlets. Big Cajun Man from THE Canadian Finance Blog explains When to File a Tax Return for Your Kids
One last word: I hate to be the carni-Nazi, but folks. This is the ORIGINAL personal finance blog carnival. Read the guidelines and respect ‘em, please. Don’t spam it with stuff you’ve already sent to every other carnival out there. This is for exclusive and recent posts. While I’ve done my best to filter out posts I saw in other blog carnivals published earlier today, I may not have caught them all.
Tags: blogging, money, personal finance
This post is part of Women’s Money Week 2013.
A couple of years ago I wrote about the cost of hobbies. Luckily, I’m not into pricey pursuits like snowboarding or scuba diving – most of my hobbies (reading, blogging etc) are pretty close to free, or as close as you can get.
There are two areas where I do channel my money, though.
It’s really hard to stick to our grocery/eating out budget sometimes (the latter of which also basically comprises our entertainment budget). We both love to eat and live to eat rather than eat to live. Yet with other necessities like housing and transport being so expensive, keeping food costs down is important.
When we go over budget (like we have for the past few weeks) I find it hard to feel terribly guilty. I’ll happily splurge on good cheese/ice cream (heck, almost any dairy product), for example. And we celebrate basically all occasions with a meal out.
We spent a slightly ridiculous amount travelling the South Island for two weeks last spring (things like a fishing charter, ski day and river cruise will do that to you) and I didn’t regret a single cent of it. I like my life just fine, but the absolute happiest memories I’ve ever had are those when I’m travelling. Hence, why we’re hitting the road for the rest of the year after the wedding. I know people who go to the same place every year on holiday, but I like variety.
Experiences, not stuff, has always been my thing. Good food and seeing new places make me happy.
What do your hobbies cost you?
Tags: money, personal finance, women's money week 2013
Tags: money, personal finance, reflections, relationships, women's money week 2013
This post is part of Women’s Money Week 2013.
To kick off Women’s Money Week 2013, we’re talking about increasing income. I’ve had multiple gigs going on for most of my working life, and done a lot of odd jobs from waitressing at events to tutoring, mystery shopping and taking part in all kinds of market research. Here’s a sample of the highlights…
The weirdest way I’ve made extra money
I’ve done a few strange things in the name of market research. For the sake of cold hard cash, I’ve eaten KFC, sampled a range of margarines, and even had electrodes attached to my head. That took place in a downtown hotel conference room, where we all sat still for a couple of hours and watched a lot of Mr Bean, interspersed with a few ads, while they monitored our brain activity.
The easiest way I’ve made extra money
Running around putting up flyers on university campuses was probably the cruisiest thing I’ve ever done. And it paid pretty well at the time – something like $15 an hour plus mileage.
The most flexible way I’ve made extra money
It’s basically impossible to beat working from home for flexibility. For me, freelancing in spare time has been the most convenient way of increasing income.
The most efficient way I’ve made extra money
I’ve pulled back from mystery shopping as it just isn’t worth the time anymore, but back in the day one of the companies I worked for paid $10 per bus survey, and they were dead easy. I lived near a transport hub and could catch any number of buses between my house and town, and I had an unlimited bus pass. I’d catch different routes every day, earning a few bucks just for commuting, and when I had free time (lunchtime, or at the end of the day, or sometimes even on weekends) I’d just hop and off 3-4 buses an hour, going back and forth along key arterial routes.
The hardest way I’ve made extra money
In my last year of school, I worked for a local family doing babysitting/tutoring and homework help, 2 hours a week, 3-4 times a week. I was paid $15 cash for two hours (basically the equivalent of the minimum youth wage at the time. Thankfully, later on I progressed to proper grownup tutoring at $20-30 an hour). As with most people/service oriented gigs, it was incredibly hard graft, incredibly frustrating at times, but also incredibly gratifying when I actually got through to the kids.
The easiest AND hardest way I’ve made extra money
I can negotiate an ad deal or put together a sponsored post worth hundreds of dollars in under an hour. But it’s taken hundreds (maybe thousands? My sense of time ain’t so good) of hours to get this wee blog to the point where this is possible.
What are some weird, wacky, or otherwise interesting ways you’ve increased your income?
Tags: money, personal finance, women's money week 2013, work
- I would dearly like to NOT make lunches to take to work every day (SO TEDIOUS) but it’s such a big money saver. I’d also like to go to the supermarket and not constantly have to think about how much the total bill will be. I would love to buy really good food
all some of the time, cost be damned.
- I wish I had a personal chef. Seriously. It’s like I’ve lost all motivation to cook this summer. I don’t really enjoy it and I’m not particularly good at it. I think if I had the choice I would rather make more money and focus on work (though I do like what I do) and be able to outsource the procuring and production of yummy meals (or just get T to do it all. Whatevs).
- I wish T made more money. He’s never gone back to making pre-recession income levels. And I wouldn’t say no to making more myself, of course.
- I wish the IRD would sort its shiz out. For the past six months T’s income tax refund has been in limbo; the IRD says it’s been credited to his bank account – the same one he’s had for about five years – but it hasn’t shown up in there for some unknown reason. Where is it and who can release it??? It’s in some kind of banking no-man’s land. And it’s painful. That’s $500 we could definitely use.
- I wish it was easier to make money than to spend money. Alas, the dollars leave you much faster than you can earn them. They’ll be flowing out pretty fast in coming weeks, what with a wedding and extended trip ahead.
What’s on your financial wish list?
Tags: money, personal finance
Is there anything worse than restaurants that don’t allow you to split the bill?
I was out to yum cha with a group of friends from university the other day – one of those slightly awkward situations where we were all brought together by a central friend, the spoke in the wheel, so to speak. I wouldn’t really have hung out with any of the others of my own volition, but she was our mutual connection and our glue. And it was surprisingly fun.
Come time to leave, we lined up at the counter to settle the account. The person who was up first went to pay her portion (let’s call her H) but after being told the policy was one bill per table, paid for the entire lunch. I had cash because I’d anticipated this might happen, and so did one of the others – yet despite us practically throwing our $20 bills at her, H wouldn’t accept any of it. “You guys can get it next time!”
Only thing is, if there IS a next time, it probably won’t be for another couple of years. I literally had not seen her since graduation.
That said, among those of us there that day, she outearned us all by far. I mean, I don’t know how much she makes, but I would say anywhere from $15-25k more than the best paid among the rest of us (journalists are poor! She may not be using her degree, but she started on a much higher income straight out of uni, and she certainly earns the most money now). In comparison, she’d have been best placed to afford it.
Some of my closer friends often do the same on a smaller scale (picking up a $10 meal or covering a drink or two, that kind of thing). Lunch for four of us, though, would probably have been between $50 and $80 (I wasn’t keeping a close track of what we ordered). I would definitely have accepted the cash.
How big of a tab would you willingly pick up for others? Acquaintances? Close friends?
Tags: food, money, personal finance
Confession: I haven’t been closely tracking our spending for, er, a few months now.
Surprise: some of it has been trickling away and I don’t know where all of it’s gone. I do know we’re not saving as much as we need to be.
Without trying to shift the blame too much, I am going to mostly point the finger at the boy. I’m still on my no shopping kick and I literally do not spend money during the week. He tends toward little purchases (even though he has an allowance just for him, sometimes he’s been dipping into the account) and we’ve had some expenses for a friend’s wedding, which thankfully is now over.
And I’ve been slack at keeping on top of things. Why? Just tired of it. Of spending so much time thinking about money. See, I’m bad at this balance thing. Being busy with a ton of other things this summer, this took a backseat. It’s time to get back on the bandwagon.
On that note, here’s this week’s Yakezie carnival with a whole bunch of personal finance posts for your reading pleasure…
Marvin @ Brick By Brick Investing writes Selling Options — How To Start Your Own Casino – A brief description detailing the benefits of selling options.
James Petzke @ This Is Common Cents writes Financial Superpowers: The Automagic Climate Controlled Super Suit – By acclimating to different temperatures, you can save hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars on heating and cooling costs.
Mich @ BeatingTheIndex writes Twin Butte Energy: Setting Up for a Heavy Oil Contrarian Trade? – Twin Butte Energy was one of a few dividend paying stocks able to afford its dividend and remains a free call option on the price of Canadian heavy oil.
Robert @ The College Investor writes Better Know a Millionaire Investor – Chris Huse – To start the series, I’d like to present Chris Huse, who is the co-founder and CEO of Media Strike, which is the largest sports ad network in the United States. He is essentially an online entrepreneur, and has been working in the ad network space for about 10 years. Let’s get to know Chris Huse a little better…
Robert @ My Multiple Incomes writes Onboarding Your First Virtual Assistant – Now that you think you’ve picked out the right candidate, here are the next steps to take to hire and onboard your virtual assistant.
Ted Jenkin @ Your Smart Money Moves writes How To Read Your Investment Statements – You have a college degree from a good four year school. Perhaps you went on to get an MBA from a fantastic post graduate program.
Passive Income Earner @ The Passive Income Earner writes Pay Your Mortgage or Invest It – Do you pay your mortgage down first or do you invest? Which one gets you ahead further?
Mary Rhodes @ Fine Tune Finances writes Are you Saving Money Just to Save? Or are You saving With Purpose? – Human nature dictates much time and money is wasted when we don’t have a goal. This also applies to our financial life, in short your goal your reason for saving, or purpose. If you are saving money just to build up a bank balance you are not likely to be successful at it.
Jason @ Work Save Live writes Best Online Tax Preparation Software – H&R Block, TurboTax, TaxACT, FreeTaxUSA – To take the guesswork out of which online tax software is right for you, we’ve taken a tremendous amount of time to examine the best – and most popular – online tax preparation companies to determine which has the best software for your particular tax situation. See the differences between TurboTax, H&R Block, TaxACT, and FreeTaxUSA.
CAPI @ Creating a Passive Income writes Playing the Inheritance Game for Passive Income – When it comes to inheriting money, there is no other way to do less, or in some cases, more work for what will be considered a passive income. For those who are blessed to be part of a family that has a fortune to pass on, then your entire job in life becomes maintaining your place to inherit the goods.
Mike @ Personal Finance Journey writes Liability in a car accident – Simple easy tips on liability in a car accident to help you minimize your financial loss and keep on the financial journey.
Scott Skyles @ Mortgage1a.com writes Tips-on-improving-your-credit-score-fast - In today’s world, a good credit score is extremely important. Whether you are looking to obtain a mortgage loan or simply apply for apartment tenancy, your credit score is almost always considered, and the decision between granting and denying credit often depends greatly on this number.
A Blinkin @ Funancials writes 99 Problems: Are You a Sort-Of Good Saver? – You may remember me (and other bloggers) mentioning the $999.99 giveaway. Believe it or not, the dollar amount is not completely random. There is a purpose for it.
Paul Vachon @ The Frugal Toad writes Winter Storm Nemo and the Importance of an Emergency Fund – What does the massive Winter Storm Nemo have to do with the need to have an emergency fund? In short, everything. Nemo is symbolic of any un-foreseen event that may disrupt one’s income or cause a financial hardship. From a simple power outage to a long-term illness, being prepared to handle an emergency can mean the difference between peace of mind and having your family’s world turned upside down.
Amanda L Grossman @ Frugal Confessions writes My Frugal Resume: Contributing to Our Household’s Finances in More Ways than Earning – It’s no secret that I enjoy funneling as much of our income as possible into our savings accounts.
Jen @ Master the Art of Saving writes Preparing To Buy A House: The Score – Buying your first home can be an exciting and stressful experience all in one. When we bought our first house, I really didn’t know what to expect. Maybe I should have done a little bit of research ahead of time, but what’s done is done.
Jen @ PF Carny writes Steps to Determine If You Are Ready to Open Your Own Business – If you are working for “the man” at a 9 to 5 job, you may dream of nothing more than venturing out on your own and being your own boss. This is the true American dream, and in this age of the Internet, it has become a reality for many people.
harry campbell @ Your Personal Finance Pro writes My First Default With Lending Club – With today’s pitiful interest rates, it’s hard to sit there and invest your money in CD’s that are returning 1 or 2 percent. So if you’ve been searching for alternative investments you may already know about Lending Club. But if you’re new to the peer to peer lending scene, you can read my first review of Lending Club here.
Crystal @ Budgeting in the Fun Stuff writes Why I Use a Credit Card (And How To Leverage Yours) – If you can’t be disciplined enough to pay off your balance in full every month, then you probably shouldn’t have a credit card. But it works for me.
Daniel @ Sweating the Big Stuff writes What Was Your First Passion Project? – My first passion project was my blog that I worked on for 40 hours a week while bored at my day job. What was yours?
Michelle @ The Shop My Closet Project writes Dear Mr. Postman – For the last few years I’ve noticed that the U.S. Postal Service has been having some difficulties. With the introduction of the internet people have embraced online banking, e-filing, and basically internet everything. We get our bills sent to us through e-billing and it’s a good thing because using less paper is good for our forests.
Wayne @ Young Family Finance writes Money and Relationships: Some Advice to Keep in Mind – Talking about money with your spouse can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. There are many successful strategies to broach the topic.
Jennifer Lynn @ Broke-Ass Mommy writes $100 Giveaway!! Finding your loved one the right gift at the right price. – Finding your loved one that right gift at the right price! Perhaps my giveaway can help?
Bryan @ Gajizmo.com writes Best Short Term Investments – Even multi-billion dollar corporations are always trying to maximize the returns of their cash and short term investments, so why shouldn’t you? Here is a comprehensive list of all your short term investment options, from money market market accounts and Treasuries to “I-Bonds” and property tax certificates. Find where you feel comfortable parking your cash for the short-term before you invest it at higher yields.
Tushar @ Earn More and Save writes Getting Engaged? Be Sure that Ring Is Covered – Getting or giving an engagement ring is a special moment. It symbolizes a promise of two people to make a life together.
Suba @ Broke Professionals writes How to Watch Your Expenses Like a Hawk – You’ve heard it before, saving money – like losing weight – is as simple as watching your inputs and outputs.
Jon the Saver @ Free Money Wisdom writes Start a Pension Early to Prepare for Retirement – Start investing now if you want to retire someday. It’s too serious of a subject to ignore for that many years.
JP @ My Family Finances writes Net Worth TV on How All Business Can Leverage the Global Economy – Here at Net Worth TV with Terry Bradshaw we look at and discuss all aspects of business. Today lets look at how you can leverage the global economy.
MMD @ My Money Design writes Believing In Yourself After Finding Out That You Suck – Despite what other people think of you, believing in yourself will have to come from your own hunger and ambition. Only you know what you’re capable of accomplishing.
MMD @ IRA vs 401k Central writes Taking An Early Withdrawal from Roth IRA Contributions – You’ve heard you can take an early withdrawal from Roth IRA contributions after five years, but did you know there are specific rules that come with it?
MMD @ IRA vs 401k Central writes Taking An Early Withdrawal from Roth IRA Contributions – You’ve heard you can take an early withdrawal from Roth IRA contributions after five years, but did you know there are specific rules that come with it?
Evan @ My Journey to Millions writes Seeing Personal Finance Bloggers Just Treading Water Bums Me Out – There is nothing that bums me out then rediscovering or even just watching a personal finance blogger treading water.
Roger the Amateur Financier @ The Amateur Financier writes Money and Child Raising: Preschool, Yay or Nay? – If you’ve been reading the past several weeks of these Monday posts here at The Amateur Financier, you’ve noticed that I’ve been covering some of the choices
SFB @ Simple Finance Blog writes 4 Money Management Tips For College Graduates – You have just graduated from college, and you are about to join the working class. Here are 4 Money Management Tips to set you up on the right path.
Nick @ A Young Pro writes What I Learned From My First Day on the Job – A few lessons that I learned from my first day at my first professional job.
John @ Married (with Debt) writes It’s Time Again – Shopping for Car Insurance – My car insurance premium increases every 6 months even though I’ve never been in an accident, so I shop for new car insurance quotes regularly.
Alice @ Hurricanes, Panties & Dollars writes Shopaholics are like Superheroes – I ended up spending around 9 hours shopping (with an official shopaholic) by my side. When I finally got home, I was freakin’ exhausted; not to mention broke as…
Jason @ Live Real Now writes Making Extra Money: Niche Selection – The “make money” niche is far too broad for anyone to effectively compete. The “make money online” sub-niche is still crazy. When you get to the “make money buying and selling websites” micro-niche, you’re in a territory that leaves room for competition, without costing thousands of dollars to get involved.
Pauline @ Reach Financial Independence writes Big city life, is it worth it? – With an average salary, does it make sense to live in a big city?
Bryan @ BryanMaltier.com writes How I Plan To Generate Passive Income This Year – This article is a guest post from MyMoneyDesign.com and is focused on detailing his plans this year to generate additional passive income. In it, MMD discusses his 4 main opportunities – to continue building up his blog, build a niche site, write an E-Book, and invest in dividend stocks.
Tony @ We Only Do This Once writes We Are All Experts – Many people have spent a ton of life energy in a quest to discover their passion. And for many of them, once they found it, that was enough. Finding the thing that lights them up inside satisfies the quest. But some people want more than that—they want to live their passion.
MR @ Money Reasons writes 2013 Late To The Stock Market Strategy – I’m going to share my Late to the Stock Market Strategy that I’m hoping will make 2013 a block buster year for me!
Matt @ Living in Financial Excellence writes The Wow Factor: Getting the Most Bang for Your Buck – When you think about making a purchase, have you ever thought about rating it on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 barely moving the needle and 10 being a big, exciting WOW?
Everything Finance @ Everything Finance Blog writes It’s Expensive to Become a Firefighter – The thing that my husband spends money on–and the reason for the biggest re-occurring argument about money that we have– would probably shock most of you: My husband spends a lot of money on food.
Ray @ Squirrelers.com writes Every Hour Counts: Knowing How You Spend Your Time – If the saying is, “Time is Money”, then it makes sense to understand how we are spending our time! This post examines this topic.
TTMK @ Tie the Money Knot writes How Much Do You Really Need in Your Emergency Fund? – Having an emergency fund is an oft-discuss personal finance topic. But while we can agree it’s important to have one, the bigger question is: how much should we keep in such a fund?
DPF @ Digital Personal Finance writes Don’t Pay Cash – Just Charge it on a Credit Card Instead! – While credit cards can be a source of temptation for many, if they’re used with discipline, they can be a great way to pay for everyday expenses. This post explores the benefits of using credit cards.
Steve @ 2012 Taxes writes E-Filing Your Taxes With TurboTax 2013 – We are in the midst of the 2013 tax filing season. Every year since 1993; Americans have increasingly used e-filing software to file their tax returns. TurboTax 2013follow has perfected the process of contemporary electronic tax filing.
PPlan @ Provident Plan writes How to use stoplosses and limits in spread betting – If you’re a novice in spread betting or any other form of trading, one of the biggest anxieties you probably have is losing money.
Hank @ Money Q&A writes Ten Ways To Break Your Texting While Driving Habit – There are ways that you can can work to break your texting while driving habit. As you drive, consider when you become bored behind the wheel and inattentive.
Corey @ Steadfast Finances writes Protecting Your Home Investment – Buying a home is a big step for any family or individual. Not only is it difficult to save up a down payment, but it can also be hard to take care of a house for the first time. Proper maintenance and general upkeep is an important part of home ownership. It takes a lot of work, but it is essential to protect your investment.
Ashley @ Money Talks Coaching writes Video: Reaching Your Goals – Hey there! I have another video for you today. Today I’m reviewing a great tool I’ve been using that will help you reach your goals.
Don @ MoneySmartGuides writes 3 Secrets to Retiring Well – I read an article recently in Money Magazine regarding retirement. The author pointed out three secrets to retire well. They include: Embrace Change: As life happens, sometimes our plans need to change and we have to rethink retirement.
Edgar @ Degrees and Debt writes Side Jobs: Snag A Job Review – Review of website SnagAJob to obtain a side job for diversifying income streams.
TDB @ Tax Deduction Blog writes Before You Say I Do : How will marriage affect your taxes? – Before you get married, you should take the time to learn how marriage will affect your taxes. What is this so-called marriage penalty? Is there really such a thing as a marriage tax?
Miss T. @ Prairie Eco Thrifter writes Guerilla Gardening and Seed Bombing – Participating in guerrilla gardening is civil disobedience without all the “going to jail” parts that so often come when trying to do the right thing for the environment. No one really suffers, the environment comes out ahead, and city lots get a makeover and are filled with beautiful flowers or edible gardens. Sounds pretty civil indeed, if you ask me!
Joe @ Midlife Finance writes Money Secrets – Have a bad money secret in your life? Confessing feels great…but what are you doing to make it better? (Feel free to comment anonymously — we’re all friends here.)
Luke @ Learn Bonds writes The 10 Year Treasury: Where to Next? – Here is my 10 year treasury rate forecast for 2013. A look back at where we have been, the recent rise in the 10 year treasury rate, and where we are headed.
Little House @ Little House in the Valley writes Expanding Your Home’s Footprint Out of Doors – Since I’m maybe 2 years away from purchasing a house of my own, and knowing that it probably won’t be my “dream home” but instead rather on the small-ish side, I’ll have to make the most of every square foot, including the out doors. Using the out doors properly, with the help of a porch, deck, or slab, can expand the interior footprint by quite a lot.
Kyle @ The Penny Hoarder writes 5 Mortgage Saving Ideas – When it comes to cutting your budget, you probably start with incidental expenses like eating out or having digital cable. But it’s also important to pay attention to what kind of money you can save even on the necessities, like your housing payment.
BARBARA FRIEDBERG @ Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance writes HOW TO MEASURE RISK & PROTECT AGAINST IT – Measure investment performance, investment risk, & protect against investment risk.
Corey @ 20s Finances writes Five Ways to Achieve Your Financial Goals – Very rarely do I meet someone who doesn’t care about achieving financial success. Simply put, everyone wants to have more money than they know what to do with. Who doesn’t right? That’s why so many people waste their money on lottery tickets. Yet, as we all know, very few achieve this goal. But, it isn’t for a lack of trying.
Eddie @ Finance Fox writes Why is Printer Ink Expensive? – Why is printer ink expensive? While all other IT manufacturers are fighting for market share, ink jet providers keep ripping the consumers off.
Grayson @ Debt Roundup writes The First Step to Recovery is to Admit You Don’t Have a Budget – When you have any problem, the first step to recovering is to admit the problem. The same goes with money. The first step to getting your finances in order is to admit that you don’t have a budget.
krantcents @ KrantCents writes I Am a PF Coach and I Should Be Fired! – That’s right, I should be fired! Where is Donald Trump when you need him? I think of myself as a personal finance (PF) coach that helps you achieve your goals and I am batting under 500. My percentage stinks and I should be fired.
Tushar @ Start Investing Money writes New Year, New Financial Goals? – We are now a little over a month into the New Year. The festive season may seem long gone, as is the time for setting New Year’s Resolutions. But it doesn’t mean it is too late to make strides in the right direction when it comes to achieving your financial goals.
L Bee @ L Bee and the Money Tree writes House Guest Rules: Who Pays for Dinner? – Then I got to thinking about house guest rules. There are of course the rules nearly everyone follows when guest is in town:
Invest It Wisely @ Invest It Wisely writes Weekend Reading, Winter Edition – The forest is situated south of the Loch Achray Hotel.
NoTrustFund @ Where’s My Trust Fund writes Financial Wisdom From A Nonagenarian – Words of wisdom from a lady who has been around the block a few times.
Tushar @ Finance TUBE writes Our Top 3 Financial Tips for Generation Y – Today I will be talking about Top 3 Financial Tips for Generation Y. Gen Yers are often being perceived as an unmotivated and entitled. It may have something to do with incredible amount of things that they want to have.
Girl Meets Debt @ Girl Meets Debt writes Getting Personal: Dating with Debt – I am getting personal in this post. Dating with debt from the point of view of someone who is in debt.
William @ Quote Me A Price writes Annuities and Structured Settlements: Whatï¿½s the Difference? – Annuities and structured settlements have many similarities, and you might even make the mistake of thinking they are the same thing. Sure, they both pay regular payments to the people they are owed to over a specified time period, but the way state and federal laws see these two types of payments confirms that they are indeed different things.
Maria @ The Money Principle writes My Father’s only investment – My Dad made only one investment in his life: my education.
Christina @ MLIQ101 writes Compare Types of Term Life Insurance Coverage – Before picking a term life insurance policy, consumers need to figure out exactly what type of coverage they needs. Term life protection comes in the form of no load, decreasing term, guaranteed, level term, return of premium, convertible, and adjustable, among many others. This article details the basic difference between each type of policy to help you compare types of term life coverage.
Carmen @ MBCI101 writes How To Find The Best Car Insurance and Quotes – How can you tell if you’ve got the best car insurance? First, we provide you some background on the factors that affect your premiums, then explain the types of car insurance available and when you should purchase them, after which you get a list of tricks and discounts you should be applying to lower your rates. Getting the lowest car insurance rates with the best coverage isn’t hard, but you should know what to look for.
Jules Wilson @ Fat Guy,Skinny Wallet writes Not Just Another Diet Book: Never Say Diet by Chantel Hobbs – A review of Never Say Diet by Chantel Hobbs.
Jules Wilson @ Faithful With a Few writes Why You and Your Spouse Need a Regular Date Night – Date night for married couples can be pretty elusive at times. However, it can be the key to keeping your marriage fresh, especially if you have children.
Jon @ Novel Investor writes Compare The Best CD Rates – With interest rates at their lowest levels in years, CDs are actually a great alternative to treasury bonds and bond funds.
John S @ Frugal Rules writes Why You Should Say No to Refund Anticipation Loans – Refund Anticipation Loans are marketed as a way to get your tax refund quicker and just in a few days. The main problem is that they’re full of fees as well as the desire to spend the money once received.
Darwin @ Darwin’s Money writes These Mutual Funds Actually Beat The Index. And “The Market” – Mutual funds rarely beat their index, but in this niche, managers returned over 20% in 2012 while besting their index as well – is it worth switching back from ETFs to mutual funds?
Dividend Growth Investor @ Dividend Growth Investor writes The World’s Best Dividend Portfolio – For my retirement strategy I am relying on dividend growth stocks, which will provide dependable income, which increases over time and protects its purchasing power from inflation. I have a quantitative and qualitative process, which allows me to screen the hundreds of dividend growth stocks and narrow the list of candidates to 30 -40 individual companies.
Mr.CBB @ Canadian Budget Binder writes Becoming a Single Homeowner- The Plan – Becoming a single homeowner has been a trend lately with the ladies leading the way. Learn about the unique requirements of how the single person approaches buying a home.
KK @ Student Debt Survivor writes My $30,000 Student Loan Mistake – If you’re human, chances are you’ve made a money mistake at one point or another in your life. Come read about my $30K student loan mistake. It might make you feel better, or worse, or both.
Mike @ Wealthy Turtle writes 5 Ways to Work From Home with Young Children – Working from home can be a challenge when you also have kids running around. These tips will help you balance family and work.
Steve @ Grocery Alerts writes How to save money on beef without using coupons – Saving money on beef doesn’t have to involve sales and coupons all the time. Money shouldn’t be an excuse to stand in the way of a well balanced diet. By implementing some of these tips below you will be on your way to have beef on your plate for less.
Glen Craig @ Free From Broke writes TurboTax Online Tax Software (2012 Return) | Review – TurboTax has become the industry standard for online tax preparation. See what TurboTax offers and which TurboTax Online edition is best for you.
FMF @ Free Money Finance writes Real Estate 101: Summary – Throughout the Real Estate 101 Series my goal has been to introduce prospective and beginning investors to the world of real estate investing. Specifically I have tried to answer some basic questions, dispel some myths and misconceptions, and give actionable advice that can be used to move towards becoming a successful investor. As I finish the series I hope that the information provided here has mostly met that goal.
Jason Hull @ Hull Financial Planning writes Inflation and the Cost of Your Mortgage – Inflation, in general, is not good for consumers. There is one exception to this rule – your mortgage. This article explains why that’s the case.
Jason @ PT Money Personal Finance writes 5 Card Act Loopholes You Need to Know About – The Card Act of 2009 created a bill of rights for credit card holders, but companies found loopholes around it in at least 5 different ways.
Michelle @ Making Sense of Cents writes $2,420 in Extra Income, Life, Wedding Updates – This weekend we did a lot. We looked around on Sunday to try and think of possible areas that we want to buy in, and we found a couple that we like. We pretty much know what kind of house we want (we are pretty open, but love older styled and southern style homes).
Emily @ Evolving Personal Finance writes Is Your Blog on Your Resume? – Is your blog or self-employment venture on your resume? Under what circustances would you include it and how do you think potential employers would respond?
PK @ Don’t Quit Your Day Job… writes Is Dave Ramsey’s Investment Advice Misguided? – Dave Ramsey’s advice to save something towards the future monthly is definitely sound. His predicted returns? Likely not going to happen for the average investor.
Arnel Ariate @ Money Soldiers writes Why is it Essential to Invest in Gold? – Of all the precious metals on earth, gold is the most popular investment. Generally, investors worldwide purchase gold as a hedge or harbor against economic crises including inflation, investment market declines, and the burgeoning national debt. But with various gold price predictions, many neophytes in the investment market are thinking whether investing in gold is still a great idea.
Rich @ Money Wise Pastor writes 15 Best Paying College Majors – On average, college graduates earn more money than those without a degree. But some majors are worth more than others. Today I’ll share the 15 best paying college majors.
The Yakezie Carnival is brought to you to by the network of personal finance bloggers of the Yakezie. You can submit articles at Blogger Carnivals.
Tags: blogging, money, personal finance, spending